QM Recuperation Oil is designed for use after riding, to help stimulate recovery and ease out tight muscles. You can rub it on yourself but it is best used in combination with a massage. It feels relaxing and leaves a nice warming feeling, but does it actually benefit recovery? Who really knows?
- Pros: Nice smell, gentle warming sensation leaves muscles feeling relaxed
- Cons: Requires several re-applications in one session, slightly greasy feel
QM's Recuperation Oil is a cocktail of natural oils that provides a gentle warming feel, intended to help promote recovery by loosening off the muscles. You simply rub it onto your weary legs after you've showered and let it do its thing. The oil is best used in conjunction with a full massage, but can be used just as well without.
The oil works through a combination of rosemary and lavender extract's warming properties, which release the tension in muscles, and geranium oil, which provides a sense of suppleness. Rosemary and lavender are age-old herbal remedies, and so it's nice to see that QM is using natural ingredients and medications rather than chemically science-lab stuff.
I used the oil after a few long rides, particularly on the easy to work areas such as the quads and calves, and it left my muscles feeling relaxed and less knotted for the remainder of the day; I didn't feel too achy the next day either. Of course, this could be attributable partly to the process of massage rather than just the oil in itself, but I imagine the Recuperation Oil played some part – there must be something behind the use of rosemary and lavender.
When used, the oil leaves a gentle feeling of warmth, sort of a 'glow' as opposed to a fierce burn, and that is a result of the properties of its herbal ingredients. This sensation lasted around 15 to 20 minutes before fading.
It smells really nice, too, with the rosemary and lavender giving off a calming, relaxing smell, which I think adds to the whole process of post-ride recovery – that is, both mentally and physically unwinding.
However, therein lies the problem with such products: how do you know how effective it genuinely is, and how much is about the whole relaxing experience and sensation of massaging it in? How much is a placebo effect?
The product has a similar feel to olive oil – a thin, greasy texture. It rubs quickly and easily into the muscles, which is both a blessing and a curse, as it's not hard to apply, but then it feels like you need to use a lot of it if you're giving yourself a longer massage. However, ironically, the oil leaves a slightly greasy feel, despite the majority of it rubbing in pretty quickly. This is fine on your legs, but you'll probably want to wash your hands after use.
In terms of value, at €10.99 (currently converting to £9.63) it's cheaper than Muc-Off's Amino recovery balm, which is £24 for 150ml. Again, though, the review of Muc-Off's balm also suggests that it's something that you just cannot reliably measure in terms of effectiveness.
To conclude, this oil is a nice product to have but very much a marginal gain. I could see it being popular with pro masseuses who could possibly access it in bulk at a volume discount, but it feels a bit pricey and potentially unnecessary for a Joe Bloggs applying it themselves.
Smells nice, feels nice, but is it just a placebo?
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road.cc test report
Make and model: QM Sports Care Recuperation Oil
Size tested: 100ml
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Kascelmed, which sells QM Sports Care products, says, "Created to relax aching body parts post-workout, our Recuperation Massage Oil is perfect for working away knots and strains and helping speed your recovery.
Whether you intend hitting it hard on your Bike, at the Gym or on the Pitch – Tender Muscles will be satisfying testimony that you've pushed your body to its limits! You owe it to yourself to warm down properly!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
QM claims that:
Natural ingredients like Rosemary & Lavender Extract support the release of tension through a mild warming sensation, whilst Geranium oil supports in helping your skin feel more supple afterwards.
In conjunction with massage, the oil stimulates blood circulation in the muscles to help aid and speed recovery after competition or training.
It feels nice on the skin and has a pleasant smell, but can you be sure it's actually benefiting your recovery? Not really...
Although around £10 for 100ml seems a lot, it's cheaper than a (sort of) similar product by Muc-Off, its Amino Recovery Balm.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The product is nice to use in that it feels relaxing and leaves a nice warming feeling. However, does it actually benefit recovery? Who really knows?
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The smell and warming sensation.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
You cannot specifically attribute any enhanced recovery directly to the product.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Recuperation Oil works out cheaper per 100ml than the only other 'comparator' that has been recently tested, Muc-Off recovery balm.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably not.
Use this box to explain your overall score
The oil smells nice and feels good on the skin, so it's not a bad product. However, you just don't really know if it's working. The herbal ingredients are age-old remedies and so there must be something behind it, but you just can't be sure. I'm giving it 'above average'.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR / Cannondale Supersix My best bike is: Giant TCR
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding